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Art galleries open their doors to the public

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CW/ Emma Junck

CW/ Emma Junck

CW/ Emma Junck

Megan Friend, Contributing Writer

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Last weekend, Tuscaloosa hosted the first Art Walk of the school year at First Friday, an event where a variety of local art galleries and other venues offer free food, spirits and live music downtown.

The venues participating in this past weekend’s First Friday included Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy, The Paul R. Jones Museum, The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, Harrison Galleries, O’Connor Art Studios and first-time participant UPerk.

Each stop on the Art Walk had its own individual attractions and atmosphere. Highlights included an outdoor sale at Grace Aberdean, a live band at UPerk and a buffet featuring live music at Harrison Galleries.

Students enjoyed the opportunity to get away from campus, walking from gallery to gallery and admiring the diverse array of art with friends and strangers.

Darby Davenport, a senior majoring in public health, frequently attends First Fridays.

“I love going to First Fridays,” Davenport said. “It’s a really wonderful way to see some of Tuscaloosa’s artists and experience art culture not directly related to campus.”

The Art Walk is different every time and rarely features the same exhibits each month. It’s a good opportunity for students eager to learn more about Tuscaloosa or explore downtown.  

“It’s nice to get out of the bubble of campus every once in a while and see something unique in the community,” said Andrew Rutledge, a sophomore majoring in ­­interdisciplinary studies.

While the streets are always buzzing during First Fridays, the occasion feels like an intimate, hidden treasure within the city. On this one day each month, families, college students, artists and musicians alike all come together to appreciate the arts in town. In addition to the free food and drinks, it’s the camaraderie that makes the event a continual success for some.

“First Fridays are great because they get all kinds of people out together in the city, appreciating art and the community that they’re a part of,” said Zachary Ziegenhorn, a sophomore majoring in public relations and marketing.

First Fridays are free to the public the first Friday of every month in downtown Tuscaloosa.

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Art galleries open their doors to the public